Paleographical Challenge #67

April 30, 2020

By Kathryn James

Today’s guest manuscript comes to us courtesy of Suzanne Paul, Keeper of Manuscripts and University Archives at Cambridge University Library.  Check back tomorrow to find its identity and a suggested transcription, here on the Paleographical Challenge!

A suggested transcription for yesterday’s guest manuscript follows below:

Employment of Time.

We are told of Queen Elizabeth, that, except when
engaged by public or domestic affairs, and the
exercises necessary for the preservation of her
health and and [sic] spirits, she was always employed in
either reading or writing; in translating from
other authors or in compositions of her own; and
that notwithstanding she spent much of her
time in reading the best of writings of her
own and former ages, yet she by no means
neglected that best of books the Bible; for
proof of which take her own words.
“I walk (says she) many times in the pleasant fields of
the Holy Scriptures, where I pluck up the
goodlysome herbs of sentances by pruning;
eat them by reading; diggest them by musing;
and lay them up at length in the high seat
of memory, by gathering them together;
that so having tasted their sweetness, I may
the less perceive the bitterness of life.

March 5 1801

Grace Fisher, Commonplace book. Westhampton, MA, USA, 1800-1813. MRBC MS 76, Smith Library.